Nepal army day : Five Nepal Army battalions mark 250 years of combat history

- PHANINDRA DAHAL, Kathmandu
Nepal army day : Five Nepal Army battalions mark 250 years of combat history

Mar 9, 2013-

The Nepal Army will commemorate 250 years of the establishment of its first five battalions as the institution marks annual Army Day at Tundikhel on Sunday.

The five units were established as companies during the unification campaign of Nepal in the 1760s. The Srinath, Kalibox, Barda Bahadur and Sabuj companies were set up in September 1762, while the Purano Gorakh Company was established in February 1763.

The Nepal Army is organising special event at the Mahashivaratri and Army Day function to honour the legacy of the five units. Army spokesman Suresh Sharma said President Ram Baran Yadav will handover letter of appreciation to the five battalions for their successful 250 years of service.

“It is always an auspicious event for the Nepal Army. But it is more special this year because we are marking 250 years of the establishment of our first five battalions,” he said. All the five battalions are scheduled to parade at the event before receiving certificates for their contribution from President Ram Baran Yadav, who is the Supreme Commander of the Army.

According to The History of Nepal Army, a book published by Nepal Army, King Prithvi Narayan Shah started giving a formal organisational structure to the Army after winning the battle against Makawanpur in 1762 (1819 BS). Srinath Company defeated the East Indian Company in Sindhuli in 1767 (1824 BS) and led the unification campaign of the west after defeating Lamjung in 1782 (1839 BS).

The Srinath, now stationed in Dadeldhura, is the first battalion of the Army. It was converted into a battalion in 1953, two years after the fall of the autocratic Rana regime in the country. The Kalibox, Purano Gorakh and Barda Bahadur (known as Bardabaini) also fought against the East India Company in 1767.

The Barda Bahadur Company participated in a battle against Kathmandu during the unification campaign and was also involved in an expansion of territory upto Kangada, a district of present Indian state of Himanchal Pradhesh, which Nepal ceded to the British after the Sugauli Treaty in 1816.

The Purano Gorakh Company fought the battles of Kumaun and Garhwal in 1790 (1847 BS) and 1804 (1861 BS) respectively. The battalion  is also known as the Magar regiment.

The four battalions are infantry units, while the Kalibox is an engineer battalion in the Nepal Army. At present, the Kalibox battalion is based in Dharan, Sunsari, the Bardabahadur battalion in Charikot, Dolkha, the Sabuj battalion in Bairani, Dhading and the Purano Gorakh battalion in Narayanhiti Palace, Kathmandu.

A company of each of the five battalions under the leadership of their commanders will parade to showcase their legacy at Sunday’s Army Day event. In its early years, the Nepal Army had 101-personnel in a company, whose strength has almost doubled now.

Currently, the Nepal Army has an approved strength of 95,753 personnel, however, its budgeted ceiling approved by the Cabinet is 92,753. On January 17, the Cabinet approved an additional 4,171 vacancies for a new general directorate that would integrate over 1,400 former combatants.

Published: 10-03-2013 08:36

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